Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 572 / Orlando

Posted by Pierre on November 1st, 2010

Orlando isn’t a regular setter of the Quiptic (this is his first outing this year as far as I can see), but he has produced a most enjoyable and accessible puzzle for us today, in my opinion. Plenty of variety in the cluing and some wit thrown in to boot.


1 GROSSER A homophone (indicated by overheard) of ‘grocer’.

5 OTHELLO A charade of O (old) T (tragedian, initially) and HELLO (a greeting).

9 NATAL A double definition – the question mark is giving you a hint that the definition of ‘delivery’ is not the usual one: here it’s to do with ‘birth’, as in pre-natal and post-natal.

10 SYCOPHANT An anagram (broke) of CHAP and STONY.

11 HEADBANGER A charade of HEAD (boss) and BANGER (old car). ‘An enthusiast for heavy metal music (colloquial)’, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary tells us. They must get through some Nurofen, then.

12 THAI Another homophone, of ‘tie’. ‘Reportedly’ tells us to look for the homophone.

14 DOWN TO EARTH A double definition.

18 A PRETTY PASS And another.

21 GOBI A charade of GOB (as in shut your gob/shut your trap) and I for ‘one’.

22 GREAT-NIECE An insertion of an anagram (crude) of AIN’T in GREECE, the country.

25 TALL ORDER Another insertion (about) – of LORD in TALE, followed by R (beginning to refuse).

26 THUMP A charade of THU and MP. THU is THUS (so), shortened by one letter.

27 RED TAPE  An anagram (involving) of DEEP ART.

28 DONE FOR A charade of DON (teacher), E (English) and FOR (FORM, class, shortened by one letter).


1 GUNG-HO A charade of GUN (shooter) and H (he’s foremost, in other words the first letter of HE) in GO, the game. This was probably the hardest clue – perfectly sound, but there’s a bit going on. I was minded to look up the phrase to discover its origin: it comes from the Chinese gonghé, meaning ‘work together’, adopted in World War Two by the US Marines. Knowledge guaranteed to impress your mates down the pub this evening.

2 OUTLAY A charade of OUT (abroad) and LAY (place).

3 SELL-BY-DATE SELBY is the town; it ‘accepts’ L for large, and DATE is the fruit.

4 RESIN I couldn’t see this for a while, but I chuckled when I did. If you’re unrepentant, then you’re likely to sin again, or re-sin. My favourite clue today.

5 ORCHESTRA A charade of OR (gold) and RA (artist) around CHEST (box). And not a carthorse in sight.

6 HIPS Another take away a letter clue: CHIPS is the fast food; without its first letter you have HIPS, the fruit of the wild rose.

7 LEATHERY A charade of LEA (pasture) above THE RY. RY is a common abbreviation in crosswords for railway, and ‘north’ can be used in down clues to indicate placement of an element of the clue.

8 OUTRIGHT A charade of OUT (dismissed, as in cricket) and RIGHT.

13 KENSINGTON A charade of KEN (former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone) SING TO and N for Knight (the standard abbreviation for the piece in chess).

15 WEYBRIDGE A charade of WEY (YEW reversed) and BRIDGE, which spans a river. You get oop north in 3dn; you get soft south in 15dn. Balanced view as always from the Grauniad.

16 DAUGHTER The paper making an appearance. This is an anagram (somehow) of THE GUARD – The Guardian without IAN, the final boy.

17 DRIBBLED A charade of DRIB (an anagram, dicky, of BIRD) and BLED. A clever clue, I thought.

19 REBUFF A double definition – to RE-BUFF would be to polish again.

20 TEMPER And another: two meanings of the word.

23 ACRID A charade of A (the indefinite article) and R (right) in CID, the police.

24 IONA Hidden in CaprI ON Another.

3 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 572 / Orlando”

  1. Stella says:

    I agree, Pierre, this was a balanced and accessible puzzle, and fun to complete.

  2. Derek Lazenby says:

    I dunno, maybe it’s because I had my one shot high dose chemo today, but I struggled with the Pasquale (got all of two clues, but I see most of you rated it hard) so I came to do the Quiptic for something else to do (on me tod in a hotel room opposite the hospital ‘cos it’s cheaper for them and the problems don’t start immediately). I still struggled. But I did finish eventually.

    I think this makes it as a beginners puzzle despite being harder than most if you think of it as being like an end of term exam. If you’ve been paying attention to previous puzzles then none of it should have come as a surprise.

    Re the number of “letter(s) missing” devices. Is it just me or does there seem to be a bit of a fad for that amongst all setters (both here and the daily) over the last few months?

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Orlando for a Quiptic – what a lovely surprise.
    I am a big fan of this setter, who combines precision with smiling surfaces.

    For beginners there’s nothing too controversial here.
    A very even crossword which was worth of a normal weekday Guardian, let’s say a Tuesday.

    As someone very familiar to this setter’s style, I found it slightly harder to do the puzzle online when compared to doing it on paper (pdf).
    Maybe the fact that in that case one has an overview of áll the clues suits me better.

    Clues like DRIBBLED, DAUGHTER, GUNG-HO and a few more, show that this puzzle was overall in a different category than some of the recent Quiptics.

    Nice puzzle, very reminiscent of the FT’s Cincinnus [which, of course, is not a big surprise], although in this Quiptic there’s less misdirection [another great feature of this setter].

    Thank you, Pierre, for your fine blog.

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